May 17, 2020

Trail for iPad health tracker

Andrew Lansley
2 min
iPad health app being trialled
Patients at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in London are trailing a revolutionary new health tracker; an iPad-based system that tracks...

Patients at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in London are trailing a revolutionary new health tracker; an iPad-based system that tracks the recovery of spinal surgery patients.

The HealthUnlocked Tracker is the UKs first online health tracker and allows patients to record their recovery after undergoing spinal surgery online.

The information is then monitored by clinicians so they can assess the effectiveness of their patients’ treatment and determine the benefits of different types of operations.

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The iPad system can be used on hospital premises and the patients can also use it once they’ve been discharged to track their recovery from home.

Trials of the HealthUnlocked Tracker were launched yesterday, and UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, who was present at the launch, said: “This is a great example of how healthcare innovation can make a real difference to patients’ lives.”

“We want to modernise the NHS because we believe that patients deserve the best and most innovative treatments available.”

He added: “We are committed to creating an environment in the NHS where new medical technologies like this can flourish.”

The hospital said they are hoping the new app will help to create 300 extra outpatient appointments per surgeon every year.

Ninety five percent of patients said they liked the new iPad app and that they preferred it to a traditional pen and paper method of documenting their recoveries.

HealthUnlocked, a company specialising in online health services, developed the app with financial support from Spire Healthcare, Baxter Healthcare, K2M, Synthes and kspine.

A version that is compatible with BlackBerry’s and Android smartphones and other mobile devices is currently under development.

Matthew Shaw is a consultant spinal surgeon at the RNOH and is the lead surgeon in the trial. He said: “Having accurate information at my fingertips about my patients’ recovery is groundbreaking.”

“It ensures that I can quickly get to grips with their perspective and provide them with first-rate healthcare; as well as saving me time it will also create new insights about spinal surgery for the NHS as a whole.”

He added: “Some patients with very rapid recoveries require less intensive follow-up than those with slower or more problematic recoveries. This gives me more flexibility to assess this in advance, and better tailor my time to my patients’ needs.”

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Jun 18, 2021

Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool 

2 min
Skin Analytics uses AI to detect skin cancer and will be deployed across the NHS to ease patient backlogs

An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system. 

NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion. 

Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making. 

In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog. 

Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening. 

DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.

Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges. 

"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”

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